BEApart of It/New York NY: Under the Broadway Lights

BEApartofitNYNY: Tips, tricks, and recommendations for those attending BEA and New York City.

Hi, hello! I’m so excited to kick off this new series today; with so much chatter about BEA on blogs and all over Twitter, a little lightbulb popped up a few weeks ago. I’ve always loved to show people New York City (I discovered this in college when many of my roommates were from the West Coast and never visited before) so why not share some choice spots and helpful hints for BEA attendees?

I contacted some trusted New Yorkers (and a few bonus pals) to make this series a reality! So all this week, a lovely person will be showcasing a particular part of New York on their blog and hopefully a ) get you super excited about your upcoming trip and b) and give you a little guidance when it comes to what’s worthwhile and amazing. I don’t know about you but whenever I travel a great recommendation goes a long way. (Just like reading!)

Please don’t be shy in the comments, either! If you are a local or have been to New York multiple times before, I’d love to hear the places you can’t miss. I’m always looking for recommendations myself. That’s the best part about this city: endless possibilities.

Enjoy!

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More than concerts, more than going to the movies, I love Broadway! Off-Broadway! Live theater of any kind!

(A few weeks ago, I chatted about that obsession here.)

When I hear that people are visiting New York, one of the first questions I always ask: ARE YOU SEEING ANY SHOWS?

So I’m asking YOU:

ARE YOU SEEING ANY SHOWS?

I do hope you’ll find time between BEA and hanging out with your book buddies to make the most out of one of my favorite parts of New York City. The audience, the rush, the fact that you are seeing a one-of-a-kind performance unfold right in front of you? Nothing can compare.

First things first, price! My top tip when it comes to buy tickets to a show is to check BroadwayBox.com. This website collects every single discount available for every single show and it’s the best way to know what you can afford. Be sure to check the dates with each discount! There’s also Rush or Lotto opportunities (which means less money for tickets but for many of them you need to be a student or wake up SUPER early) that are well documented here.  There’s also the TKTS line in Times Square. I don’t find the prices are better than buying discounts tix beforehand but it is fun for the experience.

And now, for a few recommendations:

Matilda

Matilda on Broadway

As lovers of literature, I’m sure you are not surprised I included this one. Matilda just opened on Thursday night (April 11) to rave reviews, after having a successful run in England. Based on the Roald Dahl book, Matilda is a musical and tells the story of a little girl with crap parents, a sweet relationship with her teacher, and her magical powers. [ Official website ]

Once the Musical

Once the Musical

This musical (which came out last in 2012) is based on the 2006 movie musical of the same name — the one starring the singers of The Swell Season. I watched this movie when it first came out and totally fell in love, and then last year, saw this musical twice in one week because it moved me so so much. It makes me choke up just thinking about it. Two people, both taken in their own way, meet over their love of music.  First? The set is an actual working bar and you can get drinks up there before the show and during intermission. Second? The entire cast plays their own instruments and it adds such a spark to the entire show. It’s a beautiful story with music I cannot stop listening to. (Cast recording is always playing on my iPod.) [ Official website ]

Peter and the Starcatcher

Peter and the Starcatcher

Another stage experience based on a book series by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry but this time a play! This is by far one of the most creative theater experiences I have ever had EVER. I never read the books but I was turned on to the play by a good friend, and I fell in love so much I’ve seen it 3 times. The play recently moved off-Broadway to New World Stages — the perfect home for such a cozy and innovative production. It basically tells the story of how a boy becomes Peter Pan and how that famous pirate becomes a villain. It is hilarious and extremely heartfelt (even after 3 viewings, I cry and laugh every time). [ Official website | Current Discount ]

Chicago

Chicago on Broadway

I’m going for a classic with this last choice. I haven’t seen it in many years, but it’s sexy, funny, sad — all the emotions. Plus one of my Broadway crushes is currently starring at Billy Flynn (Adam Pascal). It’s different than the movie (of course) but it’s still nice to see both and compare, and maybe even hear a familiar song or two! [ Official website | Current discount ]

Runners up:

Spring 2013 Broadway Runners Up Recommendations

» Newsies: The 1990s cult movie comes to life with cute boys, awesome dancing and a ton of energy (the audience gives it total rock star treatment!)
» Avenue Q: Another show that moved from Broadway to Off, but if you are looking for something a tad inappropriate, sexy, and super funny WITH PUPPETS. This is the musical for you.
» Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella: If you are looking for classic musical, this is another great place to start. I saw it for my birthday and while it wasn’t perfect, I still loved hearing some of my favorite tunes LIVE. Plus the gal who plays Cinderella is a Broadway bombshell. (This is actually the first time R+H’s Cinderella has been put up on Broadway… you may remember the “recent” TV version with Brandy?)

Oh! I could really go on about this forever!

If anyone else has any show suggestions or Broadway tips, please do leave them in the comments! And if you have questions about any shows at all, please feel free to ask me! If I don’t know, I will try to point you in the right direction of the answer!

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» Food recommendations from Hello, Chelly
» NYC Bookstore Stops from Alexa Loves Books